Emma Hayes acknowledged Chelsea Women were far from our best against Man City today but she offered support to her players after our third away game in a week.

The Blues were beaten 2-0 in the North-West with both goals coming in the first half, inflicting a first WSL loss on Hayes and her side since the opening day of the season.

Reacting to the result and performance, the head coach spoke about contrasting halves and different build-ups.

‘It wasn’t a game of a million chances, but we were so sluggish first half,’ said Hayes.

‘Third away game in a week, and it looked like it. It was the difference between the two teams in the first half, but well done City.

‘On and off the ball we didn’t move the way we do, and that happens. I’m not frustrated with them. We just weren’t at our best.

‘I’m not going to dig my girls out. We had an honest conversation at half-time about no matter the result, this is what we want to leave the pitch with. I can honestly say every single one of them did that.

‘We talk about goals and results, but I’m going to focus on the process and what we delivered in the second half in preparation for Thursday.’

Hayes made a double change in just the 35th minute, and she explained why

‘Legs. The game was very difficult. Your mind can do a million things, but if your legs can’t, that’s the challenge.

‘Sometimes you stimulate a response, particularly from a losing position. Often managers are criticised if you’re 2-0 down and you don’t do much. I thought it helped bring freshness into the wide spaces.’

Erin Cuthbert went off injured during the second half

‘Erin is fine,’ reported Hayes.

‘Millie will be fine too,’ she added of Bright, referring to the Lyon game for which the Blues must now prepare.

‘The team will be ready for the week. We have to move on as quickly as possible.

‘My job now is to get the team recovered as quickly as possible. I know it’s challenging.

‘I want the players to do what they do so well in the way they look after each other and recognise what it takes to go again.

‘I know exactly how this team will respond to what they will all describe as disappointing. For that reason, no matter the result, they’re champions in my heart.’

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